Updated: Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012, 7:26 AM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012, 7:24 AM EDT
BEDFORD, N.H. (CNN/WMUR) - A cat in New Hampshire has a pig to thank for one of his nine lives -- and saving his bacon.
The cat was badly burned in a barn fire last month, and if it weren't for the pig, the cat may not have made it.
Gumbo the cat is still recovering, but he's looking good for having literally run through the fire that claimed the lives of more than a dozen of his animal companions at the Perry Hill Farm in Bedford.
In the immediate aftermath of the fire, his owners thought he didn't make it. But one of the farm's heftier residents -- a pig named Miss Colby -- wasn't going to give up the search.
"We were out a few days after the fire, and the pig was on a mission to go somewhere. So I followed her, and she found Gumbo in the woods," said owner Harriet Finks.
He was in rough shape -- with second-degree burns on his paws, face and ears. His tail was so badly burned that vets thought they might have to amputate.
Finks said she's not sure how Gumbo survived -- but he did.
"He's a fighter," she said. "He always was a fighter."
For now, Gumbo will wear a cone collar until the sores and wounds left behind by his burns heal up.
As the Fink family works to get the charred remains of their barn hauled away, they find reason to smile -- looking at their little survivor.
"I'm thrilled to have him back," she said. "I'm thrilled that he's going to live and recover and be the same kitty he was before, hopefully."